Thiruvananthapuram: Expatriates planning to travel to Kerala for Onam might find themselves in a tough spot, due to exorbitant airfares. Though Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought the intervention of Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on July 5, saying the exorbitant prices would impact numerous Malayalis residing both in India and West Asia who are eagerly planning to return home for Onam festivities, the Centre declined to intervene.
The CM revealed it during a press meet on Saturday. In a letter to the CM, Scindia informed him that the aviation companies have the authority to decide the airfares, the release said.
"There is only an increase of 9.77 per cent during the festival season. Since only the dynamic pricing system is in place, the only option is to book tickets in advance," the release said, quoting the letter from the Union minister.
Steep airfares to the southern state for travel between August 15 and September 15 have compelled a large number of expats from Kerala to either cancel or postpone their travel plans, Vijayan pointed out.
The Kerala government had also requested to authorise the operation of chartered flights to transport Non-Resident Keralites from the UAE to India specially for the Onam festivities.
On that, the Union minister said approval for chartered flights is given after properly examining each request.